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Jeff Pruitt

I believe that, as of today, he's ineligible to run because he's not a registered voter in the 3rd district.

Doesn't mean he couldn't move I suppose...

Kevin Knuth


I beleive that Michael's offical address is within the 3rd District.

I should also point out that you DO NOT have to live in the congressional district that you represent. Former 2nd District Congressman Chris Chocola, lived in the 3rd District (in Bristol, IN).

Jeff Pruitt


How does that square with IC 3-8-1-1 which states:

"b) A person is not qualified to run for:
(1) a state office;
(2) a legislative office;
(3) a local office; or
(4) a school board office;
unless the person is registered to vote in the election district the person seeks to represent not later than the deadline for filing the declaration or petition of candidacy or certificate of nomination."

It would seem to me that Congressional seat would be classified as a "legislative office". And if so, then he would have to be a registered voter in that district even IF he didn't "live" there right?

Ed. note: Mr. Montagano has filed a committee with the Federal Election Commission for the purposes of raising money. He has not filed his candidacy for the nomination.

Kevin Knuth

Jeff, Good question.

All I know for sure is that Chocola lived in the 3rd, but ran for the 2nd!

Gary Welsh

If I might help folks out here a little bit with the U.S. Constitution. Article I clearly provides that a person be a resident of their state--not a resident of a particular district within that state. The states aren't free to add to the basic qualifications found in Article I, which reads:

"No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen."

Jon Myers

Kevin's right. IC 3-8-1-1 only covers Indiana state and local offices. Federal law covers federal offices and there is no federal law requiring that a Congressman live in his district. Chris Chocola is a good example.

Jeff Pruitt

I'm quite familiar with Article 1 but I thought the that states could add their own requirements on top of that. Perhaps I am mistaken.

The truth is, I don't want anyone representing my district that doesn't live here...

Patrick McAlister

At this point, I am ready to have ANYONE representing my district except Souder...

Jeff Pruitt

Well Patrick I think we're certainly in agreement on THAT issue...

Charlotte A. Weybright

The states may add criteria to the ones found in Article I. The 10th Amendment provides the mechanism by which states can exercise any powers not prohibited to them, and, as long as additional criteria do not conflict with the Constitution, they should be upheld.

After reading this post and the responses, I researched and put together a post over at my blog, http://berrystreetbeacon.wordpress.com/

Robert Enders

States cannot make that kind of restriction. Iowa passed a term limits law in the 1990's. The Supreme Court ruled that it did not apply to members of Congress. But even if you could make a rule requiring a candidate to live in their district, would it do any good?

A politician buys a mansion in Florida. He summers there. He also springs, autumns, and winters there. But he has his mail delivered to a studio apartment in Fort Wayne, and a staffer picks it up daily and faxes him the important stuff. He has a photo taken of him eating breakfast in the apartment. Also on Election Day, he has himself photographed voting in the district that he is registered to vote in. So he would reside in Fort Wayne in spite of only spending one day a year there.

Personally, I think voters should be allowed to elect anyone they want to represent them.

Charlotte A. Weybright


According to James Madison, the goal of the general qualifications in Article I was to ensure that all citizens who met the qualifications would have the opportunity to serve the people and would not be excluded from participating. Minimal qualifications were made very general in order to serve that purpose.

You have addressed the issue of residency in your response. The applicable Indiana Code section doesn't address residency; it addresses registration as a voter. They are two different things. All Article I establishes is that the representative must be an inhabitant of the state. Adding a requirement that the representative be registered to vote in the district does not conflict with the requirement of Article I that the person be an inhabitant.

You referred to a case that addresses term limits. Could you provide the citation to that case? The issue of term limits is not the same issue as establishing a voter registration requirement for potential candidates. A term limit requirement would exclude individuals after a number of years of service, thus doing the very thing that Article I was meant to avoid.

In United States Term Limits v. Thornton, 514 U.S. 779 (1995), an Arkansas case, the Supreme Court undertook an exhaustive analysis of federal and state powers as they relate to congressional qualifications. The main point in that case was that term limits disqualify individuals after service of a certain period of time. The Court noted that this is what Article I prohibited – excluding citizens from participation. It also noted that if this was, indeed, the desire of the people to impose term limits, then it needed to be done vis-à-vis a constitutional amendment. The decision was a 5-4 decision, which is the weakest of mandatory authority although still decisive.

While a number of cases have addressed the issue of term limits, far fewer cases (if any) have discussed the issue of voter registration (not residency) as a requirement. The requirement that a potential candidate be a registered voter of the district does not exclude him or her from participation. A citizen can simply run in the district in which he or she is registered. If the person attempts to run in the 3rd district yet is registered in the 4th district, then the corrective action is simply to file for candidacy in the 4th district. I realize that the argument can be made that voter registration is an indirect way of imposing residency requirements since voters need to register in the place they reside. But in researching, I have found no cases directly on point analyzing voter registration as a requirement for district candidacy.

I am interested to know if anyone has found any case law that precludes voter registration as a requirement of candidacy. Finally, why on earth would a resident of the 3rd District want someone, say from the 8th district or the 9th district to represent him or her? I am sure there are many qualified potential candidates from all over the state, but each district has unique challenges. Personally, I prefer someone from the 3rd district who has a vested interest in making decisions which are best (arguable of course depending on viewpoint) for the 3rd district.

Charles Mumaw

Grow up. He is a registered voter in Jefferson Township in Elkhart County. Check with Elkhart Co. Voter Registration to double check, if you must.

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